England

Cost cutting review for Teesside museums

Darlington Railway Museum
Image caption Darlington Railway Museum is one of seven council-run museums

A review aimed at identifying savings to the cost of running museums on Teesside has got under way.

The area's five local authorities have commissioned a specialist consultancy to examine ways in which they can work together and avoid duplication.

The review, overseen by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, comes in the run-up to expected cuts in government funding.

More than one million people visit the area's museums and galleries annually.

There are seven local authority-run facilities in the Tees Valley: the Museum of Hartlepool; Hartlepool Art Gallery; the Dorman Museum; the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum; Preston Hall Museum; Kirkleatham Old Hall Museum and Darlington Railway Museum.

'Challenging times'

Independent museums include the Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum at Skinningrove, Hartlepool Heugh Battery and Winkies Castle at Marske.

Kate Brindley, Middlesbrough Council's Director of Museums and Galleries, said: "Our museums, both those we run as local authorities and the ones we support, are hugely popular and rightly so.

"They raise the profile of the area and help to promote its distinctive and authentic sense of place.

"But these are challenging times with all public spending under close scrutiny, and the museum service is no exception.

"This review will help to ensure the Tees Valley's great museums can look to the future with confidence."

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